On January 9, 2010, an earthquake of 7.0 magnitude rocked the nation of Haiti, completely devastating the entire nation. More than 200,000 people were killed; 300,000 injured and more than one million made homeless. By 24 January, at least 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater had been recorded. In the aftermath of the disaster, the cataclysmic impact on Haiti was blatantly obvious to say the least. An estimated three million people were affected by the quake.
In the aftermath of the earthquake, numerous countries pitched in to help the embattled nation. From the world’s mega powers to the smallest of countries, Haiti received funding and supplies form almost every nation across the globe
January 9, 2013 marked the 3rd year anniversary of the Haitian earthquake. Regardless of the massive aid Haiti received, the country has yet to fully recover. Over one million Haitians are still in need of humanitarian aid according to the United Nations. This includes the over 300,000 people still in camps, 500,000 people who are food insecure and around 73,500 children under 5 years of age facing malnutrition.
This year’s anniversary offers a chance for Haiti to look back and sum up its efforts at rebuilding and reshaping the future for its citizens. Most of the funds provided by foreign countries have been used to offer immediate aid to citizens, to reconstruct public infrastructure and to improve social welfare. Assisting in the efforts, various Haitian groups and agencies have collaborated to offer a helping hand in the rebuilding process.
A Haitian group, Haiti Public Works (MTPTC), supported by groups such as Oxfam and Miyamoto along with several partners (Haitian government, nongovernmental organizations and the private sector), have completed a large portion of the reconstructive work. To date, the group has repaired over 15,000 damaged households in the region, positively affecting the lives of over 100,000 people.
Notably, the rebuilding process was completed by small Haitian contractors. Today, these said contractors have expanded the bounds of their operations by great means. The most significant result is that this has provided several jobs in skilled and even non-skilled areas.
Training and Further Education
Possibly the most positive result of the earthquake has been the resulting training of thousands of professional to work in the construction and other industries. These professionals include engineers, plumbers, masons, etc. This has laid solid groundwork for better building practices, following strict and proper regulations.
With the developments mentioned as well as the peoples’ willingness to work, Haiti now has a brighter future. Not only are jobs being created, but new buildings are being built to lasts and withstand future earthquakes. The next step for MTPTC will be to tackle the repair or rebuilding of the 40,000 heavily damaged red tagged buildings in Haiti.
Image Credit: www.bbc.co.uk
Haiti’s future is aiming to be one build on a solid foundation of sustainable economic development. In fact, this disaster could very well be a turning point for Haiti.
By Norvan Martin